Spiritual revelations do not arrive from thinking long & hard about Divinity. They arrive when we silence our thoughts, move our ego out of the way, and open up to the quiet, mysterious, magical realm that is always here with us. The world of soul is here and now, superimposed and woven through the much denser world of the five sense. It doesn't take belief to access the soul-realm. It is Reality itself.
Living with Your Soul as Your Guide
If you are very still and listen beyond the noise of your mind and the impermanence or your emotions, you will discern something very subtle - a compassionate, all-knowing, feeling that does not impose itself with any force, for it is entirely without violence. This is the voice of your Truth; this is your soul speaking to you.
Oftentimes, the insistence of the other noises in your head - especially fear and ingrained habits & beliefs - are so persistent that you are misled into listening to them simply because they make the most racket. But in moments of great decision, the soul understands what neither the mind nor emotions can conceive, which is why it's so important to learn to learn to hear - and listen to - your soul.
Think of your soul as ‘the God in you’ - the part of you that is able to remain outside your self-delusions (created by the mind & emotions) and beyond all external influences (created by society, family, religion, etc.) Your soul, unlike all other internal or external influences, will NEVER lead you astray.
If you are uncomfortable with the spiritual connotations linked to the word 'soul', think of your soul as the secret instructions hidden in your DNA by the programmers themselves - the inter-dimensional alien architects that set this whole, wild ride into motion! They want you do evolve to the point where you uncover that programming and listen to it, always, so that you can become as conscious and all-powerful as them... and even break free from the simulation, perhaps ;)
However you spin it: the voice of your soul is a gentle but POWERFUL force to be guided by. Indeed, it is the best guide you will ever have. It knows you beyond space and time; it knows what will bring you (and your future self) peace, happiness, fulfilment, and a sense of completion at the end of this lifetime. All you must do is continually 'check in' with your soul's guidance and follow it.
Remember: It is the soul’s desire to bring you back to God…to bring you home.
Soul does not communicate in a mental form through ideas or reasoning. Soul communication has its own character: a calm and luminous understanding that comes from beyond the mind - which is why building a solid meditation practice can be so helpful in establishing a connection with your soul (which I also refer to as 'intuition.')
People often come to me seeking guidance on how to re-connect with their intuition, with their soul, with God, with Source, with those powerful, inter-dimensional creator-architects, and with the abundant flow of creative energy surging through the Universe - energy they (rightly) believe will help them transform their most beloved dreams into Reality. To this desire I respond: “How deeply and totally do you wish to be Divinely aligned?”
If you seek help from the Universe in co-creation, your desire must not be superficial, fear-based, or there to serve your ego. God appears when you are aligned with the intention to evolve spiritually. Align with that intention, and you will be led - swiftly carried away - by all the gracious powers that be. As we work together, I will teach you how to authentically connect with your soul and how to keep that feeling audible, always.
Remember: If you fail to act upon your soulful callings because you don't think they're reasonable, or because you're afraid, or because you're trapped by a sense of comfort & familiarity, your guidance will become quite dim. Soul guidance is like any muscle - if you fail to use it, it becomes weaker. It atrophies.
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
– Terence McKenna
Clockwise: "Through the Veil" by Daniel Mirante; on Krishnamurti's property in Ojai; Jaclyn in forest, in Scottish Highlands
Reality & Identity
The sacred texts of all religions tell us that our life’s purpose is to understand and develop the power of our soul. We must learn to surrender personal will to Divine will, to honor ourselves & one another, and to live with love, sincerity, and truth. We must recognize that all is one - the entire Universe in connected - and everything is unfolding exactly as it should.
To see these truths clearly, there are many veils of identity that must be lifted: biological impulses, psychological tendencies, cultural biases, and reason itself. A release from ‘reason’ can by difficult for many people to accept because in the contemporary Western world, logic and reason reign supreme; but while these attributes may be essential to navigate the empirical world, the spiritual realm does not revolve around a logical, reasonable, human understanding of things. The 'logic' of the soul is beyond any conceivable human understanding.
I created this diagram to outline an interpretation of the various spheres of identity - the veils that must be lifted before an individual can perceive Reality clearly. At each level (within each sphere), we identify with a certain aspect of self. This isn’t bad - nor something we must completely transcend - however, at each level we run the risk of forming an unhealthy attachment to that aspect of ourselves; it is that attachment that requires relinquishing. A detailed explanation can be found below the image.
1) Ego. Too much ego = we become egocentric and lack compassion.
2) Family. An un-examined attachment to the ideals, beliefs, and relationship-models we are born into leads to the risk of holding ourselves back due to ‘blood loyalty' or never fully healing and moving on from family/ancestral wounds.
3) Tribe. Tribes can be religious groups, work groups, political parties, like-minded peers, or any other gathering of individuals who bond together under a commonality. There is nothing inherently wrong with tribes (we need a sense of tribe to survive!) However, if we become too inclusive and 'high & mighty' about our particular tribe and our tribe’s lifestyle, we fail to honor the simple truth that we are ALL in this together.
4) Country. Similarly, loyalty to country can feel honorable and patriotic, however it’s dangerous to allow borders to define us and potentially lead us to ethnocentricity.
5) Human. The next sphere of identity is where it really gets challenging; imagining the Universe through a non-human perspective is rather difficult to fathom. But we MUST acknowledge that humans are merely a small part of a much greater cosmic arena. Indeed: a real understanding of human existence requires the de-humanization of Truth. If we fail to grasp this, our Reality, God(s), and perceptions of Truth will always be diluted & anthropomorphic.
6) Other than Human. Moving further outward on the diagram, we have the ‘Other than Human’ sphere. This contains everything in every form in every crevice of the cosmos. How do we identify with (and beyond) that?! We do our best, through awareness and meditation. Talk to me about tree, rock, animal, and star meditations as some basic starting points. From there, we can discuss tuning into various Divine forms: Allah, Brahma, Buddha, Christ, the Creators, Divine Mother, God, The Great Integrity, The Infinite Mystery, Krishna, Kuan Yin, Shakti, Source, Tao, Ultimate Reality, The Universe, Yahweh (and countless others).
This all brings us to the final sphere which is the most difficult concept to discuss (as with most spiritual concepts, it's more powerful to experience them vs. explain them!) So far in the diagram, even if we've stretched ourselves to our most open-minded, ‘out there’ understanding of all possible forms of identity in all potential realms & Realities - we have still been thinking of various forms of existence. Indeed, we have still been thinking. So where does that leave us?
What is the purest form of identity?
7) Non-identity. Non-form. Non-thought. Pure, energetic consciousness.
All the names listed a few paragraph above are simply titles we came up with to describe elements of the one, Divine, unified, vibrant field of formless energy that we are all a part of. That ocean of connected, conscious, energy is where we all come from, pre-form, and where we will eventually return when our dance among the forms is complete.
The Path of the Mystic & the Shaman
The mystical journey involves an enormous capacity to bear the truth. As Caroline Myss explains: lessons on the path of the mystic are lessons in physical, emotional, and spiritual loss & disempowerment, followed by rebirth to a new relationship to power. Through anguish and ecstasy, mystics gain access to Spirit that is so profound, they become capable of breathing Divine energy into ordinary words and acts. They become able to heal others through acts of genuine love, forgiveness and faith. A mystic is detached from the illusions of the physical world and has a keen ability to see symbolically.
Somewhat similarly, the shaman is commonly born along the path of the ‘Wounded Healer’ archetype. Along his/her own journey towards ascension, the shaman often suffers from a physical illness or psychological crisis (or several such incidents over time) which pushes them to the brink of death. This crossing over to the underworld is necessary so the shaman can delve into the depths of darkness and come to know the deepest contents of their Mind, heart, and soul while confronting powerful fears and challenging false notions of Reality. Often a shaman is destined to go through this initiatory phase of madness or sickness so that they can come to understand, from an experiential vantage point, the madness, sickness, disillusionment, pain, and all other ails of humankind; for it is only from truly understanding an illness that the antidote is revealed.
In hindsight, the night was gift - but while I was writhing on the ground screaming “Mercy!” in terror of the stifling prison-life I’d created, I remember thinking “I would rather have someone cut off my actual, physical limbs than continue the psychological torture I’m undergoing.” That’s the kind of gift it was.
When you are dreaming at night, no matter how real the dream seems, once you wake in the morning and move through your day, you can typically look back and say, “That was just a dream. Now, I am awake. I understand the difference between the two.” Similarly, in the midst of a mystical experience, you can clearly look back at day-to-day living and say, “That is but a mere dream when compared to this Reality.”
Message Through the medicine
The Medicine Man leaned over and whispered into my forehead.
“I want you to take yourself home now. Find a shrub or tree in your yard. Tell me when you get there.”
“I’m there,” I said.
“Good. Ask the tree this question: What does it take to be truly happy?”
The importance of retreat
When we move back and withdraw from our everyday lives we gain perspective, clarity, and focus. Our spirits become rejuvenated after spending time in nature, in spiritual contemplation, alone or with individuals on similar, soulful paths as our own...
Some Lasting Thoughts for You
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught you what you need to know about where you are separating yourself from Reality.
“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”
- Pema Chodron
The path and the goal are one.
“When I’ve asked Shamans about the sickness of the West, they say it’s quite simple…you guys have severed your connection with Spirit. Unless you re-connect with Spirit and do so soon, you’re going to bring the whole house of cards down around your heads and ours.”
- Graham Hancock
“We are all just walking each other home.”
- Ram Dass
“Tenderly, I now touch all things, knowing one day we will part.”
- St. John of the Cross